NHL Best Bets: Penguins vs. Lightning Game Picks


Mar 2, 2023

Two Eastern Conference teams fighting for playoff positioning face off tonight, with the Tampa Bay Lightning hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins.

All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Pittsburgh Penguins (+146) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (-178) Total: 6.5 (O -128, U +104) 

The veteran-led Pittsburgh Penguins have hung around in the playoff race and can still qualify for the dance. They’ve been playing well lately, winning three in a row and posting a 5-5 record over their last ten games. The Lightning have lost two straight, going 5-3-2 over that same sample size. 

The Lightning are home favorites on the moneyline, priced at -178, while the Pens are at +146. This will be the third and final meeting of the season series, which has already seen the Penguins win the first two matchups by a combined score of 13-5. 

Looking toward the projected goalie matchup, the Penguins are expected to start Tristan Jarry, while the Lightning should counter with Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Penguins’ netminder has an 18-7-5 record with a .918 save percentage. Vasilevskiy has been consistent, posting a 28-15-2 record with a .919 save percentage. It’s hard to give a significant edge, but the Lightning should have a slight advantage in the net. 

Even though the Lightning are better overall, the Penguins have already taken two games off Tampa Bay by multiple goals. As a result, we feel comfortable backing their plus-money odds on the moneyline at +146. 

Best Bet: Penguins moneyline (+146) 

Both teams have been stronger at scoring goals rather than keeping pucks out of their nets, with each side sitting in the top 13 in goals scored per game. In their previous matchups, we’ve already seen them combine for eight and ten goals, so scoring goals could be a theme again. Over the Penguins’ last five games, they’ve seen seven or more goals scored in two, while the Lightning have seen that in three. With recent trends, we’re content siding with the over 6.5 at -128. 

Best Bet: Over 6.5 (-128)

The Penguins have been a rollercoaster offensively, but they still boast some solid pieces up front. Sidney Crosby has had another stellar campaign, tallying 72 points in 60 games. Crosby will be relied upon to make a statement on offense and is priced at an appetizing +156 to score.

Best Prop: Sidney Crosby to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+156) 

Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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